Jung, the Principle of Synchronicity and Contemporary Science

An important principle of Jungian psychology involves synchronicity or meaningful coincidences of inner and outer events. The idea of synchronicity is not new, but was well known in earlier times, including by the natural philosophers of the European Middle Ages. They referred to such experiences in their theory of correspondentia that includes the comprehensive idea of the sympathy of all things. Thus, according to Hippocrates (as reported in Jung, 1975c, p. 490), “There is one common breathing, all things are in sympathy. …” linking the smallest particle in correspondence to the whole. Jung brought clarity to understanding such experiences, differentiating authentic synchronicity from causally-induced events of all kinds, including magic causality, where a chain of events is initiated though an esoteric ritual of some form.

In Jung’s elaboration of the concept, which is based on a unitary world of multiple parts, he also brought the experience, which is more common than is generally believed, into the contemporary realm of ideas, along with the immense value of bringing understanding of the psychological, spiritual and scientific implications. In this section, I discuss synchronicity in terms of contemporary science, notably Relativity Theory and Quantum Physics, while referring to Jung’s visionary experience in 1944.